SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CrowdFlower, Inc., a San Francisco-based technology company, which boasts the “world’s largest workforce,” made a motion on July 19 to dismiss a suit filed by two of its online U.S. workers. The lawsuit alleges that CrowdFlower violates minimum wage laws. CrowdFlower’s chief executive, Lucas Biewald, has publicly stated that the company pays its workforce $2 to $3 per hour.
CrowdFlower is headquartered in San Francisco, where the minimum wage is over $10 per hour. CrowdFlower contends that the workers are independent contractors, not employees, and that they are not entitled to the rights of employees, such as the minimum wage.
The case, Otey v CrowdFlower, Case No. C 12-5524 JST/MEJ is before Judge Jon S. Tigar in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. CrowdFlower’s motion comes only two weeks before the August 2, 2013 hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion to publish notice of the case to millions of CrowdFlower workers, and notify them of their statutory opportunity to participate in the suit. CrowdFlower contends that its workers are not interested in joining the case, but the notice has even not gone out yet, because the court has not yet ruled on the motion to disseminate it.
As CrowdFlower’s motion shows, the company made repeated attempts to settle with only the two plaintiffs so that they would not represent the millions of other CrowdFlower workers. CrowdFlower recently offered plaintiff Mary Greth $15,000.00, and offered plaintiff Chris Otey $2,148. CrowdFlower, relying on its own interpretation of a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, Genesis Health Corp. v. Symczyk, contends that just because the company made the offers, the two plaintiffs cannot represent the millions of others.
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